Newly released documents offer a glimpse into the operations of Trump University, a one-time real estate school created by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee that’s now the target of multiple lawsuits.
Last week, U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel ordered the release of the documents that are part of a class-action lawsuit against Trump University in California, following a request by The Washington Post.
CNNMoney examined the almost 400 pages of “playbooks” that outlined the methods used by team members of Trump’s to lock in potential students in the files released Tuesday.
A few of the key takeaways, according to CNN:
• Trump team members were told to organize profiles of students based on who had the most liquid assets — from those under $2,000 to those who had more than $35,000.
• Members were urged to sign up buyers to the most expensive Trump University offering, known as the “Gold Elite,” which ran nearly $35,000.
• When prospective students voiced concerns about the most costly package, team members were given scripted responses to allay misgivings, including this one, CNN found:
“I don’t like using my credit cards and going into debt: ‘[D]o you like living paycheck to paycheck? … Do you enjoy seeing everyone else but yourself in their dream houses and driving their dreams cars with huge checking accounts? Those people saw an opportunity, and didn’t make excuses, like what you’re doing now.’ ”
• The playbooks offered clear instructions to team members, CNN notes, on everything from how to dress to how to interact with the media.
The documents were part of one of three lawsuits pending against Trump University. Another was filed by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman alleging fraud against thousands of students. Schneiderman on Tuesday applauded the judicial order to release the documents. “You’re not allowed to protect the trade secrets of conducting a fraud,” he told CNN.
Trump University was founded in 2005 and ceased enrolling students by 2010. The New York billionaire has defended the program and said that Judge Curiel is “a hater of Donald Trump.”